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With some of the harder/lazier/more stubborn breeds we’ve had better luck with 2 people working together.

Preferably the more willing goat in front, lots of treats, encouragement, and praise with the less willing goat behind in the follow position.

We follow pretty much the same instructions as listed above but working in pairs. Goats hate to be alone so this seems less stressful for the beginning stages. Eventually they do more work solo and are expected to behave.

Setting up to succeed is also important. Taking a dry lotted goat to a driveway bordered by delicious weeds or delicacy treats like backyard flower beds is setting up the goat for failure.
 

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Discussion Starter #22
@Damfino A problem I've been having with my goats is that they lean into me. I hold the leash in my right hand and they walk on my left side. Their heads are always being bashed by my legs and our legs and feet get tangled. How do I correct this? I rarely have trouble with them resisting the tug of the leash. Sometimes they run in front of me real fast or circle me. The main problems now is that they are too close to my side.
 

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:) Walking faster towards home is perfectly normal goat behavior and they will probably always do it to some extent. As long as they are learning to listen to your correction instead of dragging you around by their leashes and demanding you to keep up with them it's not a problem. They'll get better the more you practice. Are their manners improving in other ways?
 

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Discussion Starter #26
:) Walking faster towards home is perfectly normal goat behavior and they will probably always do it to some extent. As long as they are learning to listen to your correction instead of dragging you around by their leashes and demanding you to keep up with them it's not a problem. They'll get better the more you practice. Are their manners improving in other ways?
Every day is different. Some days they do really good, and then they have bad days where they are always walking faster than me or leaning very far into me. When they get to a certain point ahead of me, I turned sharply around so that they have to pay attention to me for direction.
 

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I'm glad they're making progress. It takes time. Here is a bit of encouragement for you. I wrote this on a different forum three years ago after I got back from a trip to Kansas City:

I took the boys walking on the Indian Creek trailway that runs for over 20 miles around Kansas City. We only explored part of it of course. There were quite a few people on the trail so I spent a lot of time stopping to explain why I had goats parading around the city on leashes. Finn and Sputnik were very well-mannered so it was quite a pleasant day. Thinking back, a walk like this would have been miserable two years ago. I'd have had a terrible time trying to control both goats by myself, and I'd have had to deal with balking, spooking, bolting, fighting, and trying to go back. Our boys have come a long way in their training. They walk nicely beside me so I can hold a leash in each hand without fussing. They obey voice commands very well, so if one needs to speed up or slow down I can control him with a word and a slight tug on the leash. They don't balk or spook at dogs, bikes, baby strollers, sirens, or blowing trash. Well-trained goats are such a joy to walk with and I don't think I realized how good our boys have gotten until that day. Training takes time and progresses in baby steps. Sometimes it's hard to see those small improvements until one day you look back and suddenly realize how far you've come--that they finally feel like they've "arrived".
 

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It is definitely a process, but it's very rewarding when you look back and go "Wow! Look at us go!"

Part of the problem I think you're encountering is that it sounds like you are just as new to training as your goats are. Teaching a new task might take an experienced person a week, but it could take you quite a bit longer because you are having to learn pressure, release, timing, appropriate responses, etc. It's a big learning curve for all of you, but if you succeed with the two you have now, the next ones will be SO much easier! I made a lot of mistakes with my first goat even though I'd successfully trained horses and dogs. But goats are a little different and I had to learn a few things the hard way, but eventually we muddled through and were successful.
 

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Discussion Starter #30
When you guys say a long process, how long exactly do you mean? I've been working on it for over three months and we can only go for about a 5 minute walk (out and back). On top of that, I tried to walk a goat on my left side yesterday and it was HORRIBLE. Absolutely terrible. I'm very discouraged.
 

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I found my Boers liked a certain halter - nylon versus the inexpensive rope halter. I put those on them, used some animal crackers as motivation, and got them to follow me all over the pasture. Then we progressed to going outside the pasture. I take them out to eat some grass on the walks, so it's usually very pleasant, until I'm in the middle getting pulled by two nearly 200 pound girls that both find grass in the other direction they want to eat! But I just make one move in one direction and we're good.

I use their collars when we are walking in the woods and they are off leash or if it's really hot out and I think they won't follow me and I'll have to chase them. I've found walking them on collars isn't fun for either of us - if they pull I think I'm choking them and it goes downhill from there. With the halters, they may give a head shake or two, but they knock it off pretty quick. Good luck!
 

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Halters help a lot. That said, it doesn't usually take months to train goats to walk with you. Usually a couple of weeks to get them going pretty good. The only reason your goat did horribly on your left is because he's accustomed to walking on your right and you totally messed up his day! When leash training I like to switch sides from the beginning so I don't start them in a rut. However, they can learn new things. Have you tried clicker training them at all? I've found that goats learn very quickly with clicker training. When the do something right, click your tongue and immediately offer a reward. Do some research on clicker training techniques (there are lots of websites out there) and start clicker training them at home first. I taught a couple of my goats to follow a target in less than ten minutes the other day. Work with them one at a time so you don't confuse them and get mobbed. Start simple and work up. Once they know that the click means, "Good job, do that again!" they start doing their best to please you and get that reward. Then you apply the lessons to leash training. Click and reward when they walk nicely beside you without crossing in front or trying to turn back or eat goodies next to the road. At first it might just be a few steps between rewards, but as you make progress you keep adding more steps between clicks. And you do the same for walking the goat on your other side.

I'm sorry it's been frustrating. I think you might be too critical of yourself and perhaps you aren't expecting quite enough from your goats. You need to be firm and confident in your commands and follow through with making them obey. Then reward generously when they get it right. Don't give up!
 

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Discussion Starter #33
Have you tried clicker training them at all? I've found that goats learn very quickly with clicker training. When the do something right, click your tongue and immediately offer a reward.
I do train with a clicker, not will my tongue, however.

I'm sorry it's been frustrating. I think you might be too critical of yourself and perhaps you aren't expecting quite enough from your goats.
I think I have not been challenging them enough and that is my fault. For a long time, we did the same walks/distances over and over and I thought I was expecting too much out of my goats. I'm going to start really pushing the distances.

Don't give up!
I was truly thinking about it the other day. We had a terrible day at training and I really broke down. I thought my goats were stupid and how could they not know how to walk on a leash after all this time. I spend on average 10 minutes a day with each goat training, so twenty minutes a day every day for months. I had invested so much time I didn't want to quit, but I also did not want to keep wasting my time. I think I've gotten away from this a little bit and I'm ready to train, but not hopeful.
 

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Don't be afraid to challenge your goats a little more. If your goats think you're even the slightest bit of a pushover, they'll walk all over you and they'll never learn anything. You have to be confident and no-nonsense in your training and sometimes just plain be more stubborn than they are. I had to practically drag one of my young wethers all the way down my very long driveway the other day because he decided he didn't want to come walking. My husband and I had four goats between us, so there was no reason for him to not want to come with. Also, we've been taking him for walks for several months now, usually without much trouble. So I wrapped the leash around my fist and crossed my arm over my body for extra leverage so I could lean all my weight against his, and then I put my head down and trudged forward one step at a time with that little stinker leaving four grooves in the gravel behind him. Once the house was out of sight I let him off the leash and he just followed like everybody else. He'll have his good days and his bad days as time goes on, and I'm sure we'll have a few more dragging sessions before he learns that fighting the leash won't work. If I say we're starting a walk, he's coming whether or not he feels like it, and we're going to keep walking until I say it's time to turn around--because I said so!
 

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Discussion Starter #35
Don't be afraid to challenge your goats a little more. If your goats think you're even the slightest bit of a pushover, they'll walk all over you and they'll never learn anything. You have to be confident and no-nonsense in your training and sometimes just plain be more stubborn than they are. I had to practically drag one of my young wethers all the way down my very long driveway the other day because he decided he didn't want to come walking. My husband and I had four goats between us, so there was no reason for him to not want to come with. Also, we've been taking him for walks for several months now, usually without much trouble. So I wrapped the leash around my fist and crossed my arm over my body for extra leverage so I could lean all my weight against his, and then I put my head down and trudged forward one step at a time with that little stinker leaving four grooves in the gravel behind him. Once the house was out of sight I let him off the leash and he just followed like everybody else. He'll have his good days and his bad days as time goes on, and I'm sure we'll have a few more dragging sessions before he learns that fighting the leash won't work. If I say we're starting a walk, he's coming whether or not he feels like it, and we're going to keep walking until I say it's time to turn around--because I said so!
I took your advice these last two days I am impressed! With my one goat, we got our farthest distance yet! He likes to stop and walk slow, but I just kept my pace and dragged him. In southcentral PA where I live, it was super warm today and my goats started panting like dogs on our walks!

I will give my updates on my training as they happen!

Thanks!
 

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I'm glad you made some progress! Don't be discouraged if they regress from time to time. Just be consistent and they will learn to trust and obey. When you train animals it's important to be both firm and fair.

There's nothing wrong with giving your boys enough exercise to make them pant, but if you get them wethered they'll have less hair and less muscle mass so they won't get so hot on your walks. ;)
 

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Discussion Starter #37
I keep coming back to this thread because new questions come up all this time!

Until now, I have been walking my goats separately. Today, I put them together and they didn't do bad. But they didn't walk good. When they are separated, if one walks too slow or doesn't walk, I drag them. And if one walks faster than me, I spin around and tug him back to my side.

My question is: How do I correct a goat (say on my right side) that is walking too fast without hurting the goat on the left?
 

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Don't spin around if one goes too fast. Just tug-tug-tug on his leash until he slows down, then reward by releasing pressure on the leash. If you're clicker training, when he backs off is when you click and reward. If you spin you can't walk two goats at once without getting tangled in leashes. If you take a leash in each hand, you can generally correct each goat independently without affecting the other. It just takes practice.
 

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Discussion Starter #39
Hello again, I got my sister to film me walking my goats yesterday. There are about 10 minutes of footage altogether, so if anyone can watch a little and give me suggestions that would be great. The one with the red leash is Clark, and the one with the black is Lewis. Forgive my rough appearance! The first video is of them walking together. That is where I need a lot of help. I was walking faster than I normally would in that video to keep up with their pace, which is something I need to fix. Also, Lewis is constantly leaning into my leg. Around 1:25 on the first video, they got spooked by a dog bark...they always get scared by that dog.
Lewis:
Clark:
 
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